Event Archive

The STS Graduate Program at UBC draws on a rich set of resources at UBC, in Vancouver, and at our sister universities, Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington


27 September 2022, 6:00-7:30 pm, Frederic Wood Theatre.

Dr. Kim Tallbear (University of Alberta), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society.

The Biannual Hawthorn Lecture: “Close Encounters of the Colonial Kind”

The event is organized by the UBC Department of Anthropology. Because of its relevance, we included it in our list to make sure graduate students in STS will not miss it. Please note that registration is required to attend the lecture and the reception that starts at 5:00 pm. Without wasting time and to guarantee yourself a spot, please visit to RSVP:  https://anth.ubc.ca/events/event/hawthorn-lecture/


13 October 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Inkeri Koskinen (University of Helsinki, Academy of Finland Research Fellow in Practical philosophy), visiting post-doctoral fellow at UBC https://inkerikoskinen.net/

“Objectivity, Trust, and Reliance”

Can the notion and the normative ideal of objectivity be salvaged? It has faced harsh criticism from philosophers of science, and those who have defended it identify a great many different meanings of objectivity; it is not only contested, but also extremely complex conceptually. Some suggest that we should simply abandon it, but it is widely used in public discourse and often cited as one of the main reasons for according science an epistemically authoritative position. The aim of my 5-year project is to provide a satisfactory understanding of what it means for something to be objective.


15 November 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

M.V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC.


“Small Modular Nuclear Reactors: Fantasies for the Interregnum”

This talk will begin by describing the global status of nuclear energy, in particular its declining share of global electricity generation, to explain the motivations for what are called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a class of nuclear reactor designs. Proponents of these theoretical designs make a number of claims, and the talk will go over some of these, followed by a discussion of the motivation for these claims. This will be followed by an assessment of these claims, as a way of answering the question that is of widespread interest: can small modular reactors, or nuclear energy in general, help mitigate climate change.


8 December 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Jonathan Basile, Post-doctoral fellow, Department of English, UBC http://jonathanbasile.info/

“Plasticity before and after Genetics: Mary Jane West-Eberhard and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis”

In the 21st Century, evolutionary theory has fragmented into myriad approaches to the study of life that have fundamentally placed in question the basic orthodoxies of the Modern Synthesis, population genetics, and gene selectionism. I will closely examine Mary Jane West-Eberhard's theory of plasticity to better understand why the old models failed and yet why their successors fail to gel into a unified theory.


31 January 2023, 5:00-6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Alison M. Macfarlane, Director SPPGA, https://sppga.ubc.ca/profile/allison-macfarlane/

"Zombie Technology: The Changing Story of the Mythical Fast Reactor"

Fast breeder reactors, especially sodium-cooled fast breeder reactors, have a seventy-plus year history of support and operation.  Initially, this type of reactor was famously promoted as producing electricity “too cheap to meter” but sodium-cooled fast reactors have not lived up to that promise, barely producing electricity in most instances.  I examine why these reactors continue to receive political and economic support from governments and industry, even though they have proved incapable of matching light water reactors in terms of capacity factor and energy production.  These zombie technologies persist due to a number of factors, including the powerful creation myth that spawned the technology initially.


14 February 2023, 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Gunilla Öberg, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Egesta Lab

Gunilla Öberg | Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (ubc.ca)

"Minding the gap. My experiences teaching about the role of values in science in interdisciplinary settings"

Science studies scholars have demonstrated beyond doubt that value-judgements play an integral role in science. However, few scientists are familiar with these findings, in part because of a wide-spread distrust among scientists about claims made by philosophers, historians, sociologists of science. Even so, science studies education rarely considers communication obstacles between natural scientists and science studies scholars. In this talk, I will share experiences from 20 years of tinkering with courses for science students and interdisciplinary groups about the role of values in science, and discuss how one might go about mending communication gaps between the natural sciences and science studies.


7 March 2023, 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Adrien Zakar, Assistant Professor, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Fellow, Victoria College University of Toronto. https://www.adrienzakar.com/

Militarized Somnambulism: Converts, Orphans, and the Technological Instruments of Ottoman Reform

Since the Age of Revolutions, the Middle East has been a laboratory for mapping devices. Beginning with triangulation during Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, and later in the Crimean War; moving onto aerial photography in interwar colonial theaters of operations; and finally to the GPS and the contemporary use of drones – regional politics have both shaped and been shaped by the global proliferation of mapping instruments. How has this technological development transformed the region from within? This is the question at the heart of this talk. Initially rare and expensive artifacts, maps and geographical books became small and ordinary objects that spread across military institutions, bureaucracies, private firms, schools, and individual households beginning in the mid-19th-century. Tracing overlooked tensions at the core of Ottoman imperial reforms following the Crimean War (1853-56), I will examine how marginalized subjects – runaway converts and enslaved orphans – managed to deploy new forms of power in the imperial order by foregrounding their skills in mapping. They did so by drawing on what I term “militarized somnambulism,” a technological process through which military devices surreptitiously reconfigured socio-political struggles in both the capital and the provinces while simultaneously shifting the disciplinary boundaries of geographical science and making small instruments and their users central to the ordinary machineries of empire.


28 March 2023, 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Buchanan Tower 1112

Frank Tester, Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Studies, University of Manitoba, and Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia


A Deep Breath: Inuit tuberculosis, historical geography, technology, and the political economy of social change

Commencing in 1945, the Canadian government dealt with what it had known for years: that Inuit living in the Canadian Arctic were suffering from a serious epidemic of tuberculosis. In 1953, the death rate from TB for Canadians living in the south was 9.9/100,000. The rate for Inuit was an astounding 298.1/100,000.  The treatment of Inuit TB involved their removal from the Arctic to southern sanatoriums for treatment. The result for Inuit was considerable suffering, not only physical, but social, cultural and mental. In 2019, the federal government apologized for what Inuit endured as a result of the government’s management of the epidemic. The history of treating Inuit TB is a tangled web; the intersection of historical geography, changes in medical and related technologies, and the political economy of a liberal welfare state, poorly understood by most Canadians.


Colloquia will be held virtually on Wednesdays from 12:30-2pm over Zoom, unless otherwise noted. If you’d like to attend, please subscribe to our mailing list and you’ll receive the URL a week beforehand as well as STS related news!


October 6, 2021 “Data Feminism,” Professor Lauren Klein

6 October, 5-6:30 pm: Lauren Klein (English and Quantitative Theory and Methods; Director of the Digital Humanities Lab, Emory) will be discussing her joint work with Catherine D’Ignazio, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020).

Professor Klein’s website is here: Lauren F. Klein – Digital humanities, data science, and early American literature (lklein.com)

The book in its entirety is here: Data Feminism (mit.edu)



October 27, 2021 “Sci-Hub: Technology to Make Science Open,” Alexandra Elbakyan

Alexandra Elbakyan, creator of Sci-Hub, who will discuss that project.

Founder of Sci-Hub, PhD student (STS) at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

You can read about her on Wikipedia and elsewhere: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Elbakyan

Research: Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature


Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone:


The Founder of Sci-Hub Is Absolutely Unrepentant




February 16, 2022 “Rhetorically constituting the “good covid citizen” through BC’s public health updates, March – December 2020 Professor Philippa Spoel

Speaker: Professor Philippa Spoel (Laurentian U)


BC’s COVID-19 public communication, as delivered by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been widely praised for its non-coercive, pro-social, and caring qualities. In this presentation I explore how public health updates delivered by Henry between March and December 2020 exemplify the expansion during the pandemic of discourses that foreground individual citizen responsibility for collective health. I argue that this site of COVID-19 communication participates in the development of neo-communitarian ‘active citizenship’ governmentalities focused on the civic duty of voluntarily taking responsibility for the health of one’s community. My analysis focuses on how Henry’s articulation of this civic imperative rhetorically constitutes the “good covid citizen” through a discourse of behavioural, epistemic, and ethical responsibilization. This rhetoric’s communal ethos significantly increases the burden of personal responsibility for health beyond commonplace norms of self-care. Making the protection of community health primarily the responsibility of individual citizens also presumes a privileged identity of empowered, active agency and implicitly excludes citizens who lack the means to successfully fulfill the expectations of good covid citizenship.


Philippa Spoel is Professor of English in the School of Liberal Arts at Laurentian University. Her research focuses on rhetorical criticism of health, science, and environmental communication, including public health promotion, discourses of food security and food literacy, citizen science, midwifery communication, and environmental controversies. She contributes to Laurentian’s undergraduate Literature, Media, and Writing program as well as the interdisciplinary Masters in Science Communication, PhD in Human Studies, and PhD in Rural and Northern Health.


March 2, 2022 “Insects and the Infrastructure of Empire: Entomological Expeditions and Biological Pest Control in Early-Twentieth Century Hawai’I,” Professor Jessica Wang 

Jessica Wang

Professor of History and STS Faculty Member, UBC


April 19, 2022 STS Graduate Students Colloquium

Balie Tomar, “The Colonial Statistical Revolution: Tracing the Evolution of William Petty’s Quantification in Ireland”

Lewis Page, “Between World Government and Neoliberalism: The Committee to Frame a World Constitution and the Mont Pèlerin Society circa 1947”

Sam Bundenthal, “Rhetorical Constructions of the Human-Nature Binary in Pacific Spirit Park”

Sarah Kamal, “Climate, Local Experiences, and Federal Policy: Post-Lytton Indigenous Community Engagement in the Fraser Canyon and Canada’s UNDRIP Act”

30 September
Hugh Gusterson (Anthropology/STS, UBC)
“Something fishy about the polygraph”

Abstract: In the United States, private companies are not allowed to polygraph employees and polygraph evidence is almost entirely banned from court on the grounds that the polygraph is “unscientific.”  On the other hand, most jobs as police officers, FBI agents, CIA agents, DEA agents, immigration officers, and working for defense contractors require applicants to pass a polygraph test.  Polygraph tests are also widely used to catch cheaters in fishing tournaments.  What happens when you win a prize for almost $3 million in a fishing contest, lose it for failing a polygraph, and go to court to get it back?

21 October
Kavita Philip (President’s Excellence Chair in Network Cultures, English, UBC)
“The Internet is Made of Imperial Debris”

18 November
Trevor Pearce (Philosophy, U of North Carolina, Charlotte) [and UBC alumnus!]
“Experimental Ethics: Pragmatism, Environment, and Social Reform”

Abstract: For Herbert Spencer, ethics was evolutionary; for William James, it was experimental. In this talk I will argue that for the second cohort of pragmatists it was both: in the years around 1900, John Dewey, G. H. Mead, Jane Addams, and W. E. B. Du Bois developed a view of moral and social progress as experimental evolu­tion. Although they rejected the teleological approach of Spencer, who saw ethics as proceeding to a specified evolutionary end point, they still employed a modified version of his organism-­environment framework. Their application of this framework to ethics led them to a distinctive picture in which moral philosophy was inextricable from social science and social reform.

25 November
Derek Woods (English, UBC)
“Earth System Science, Through the Looking Glass”

Abstract: Since the 1980s, Earth system science has been a field with an increasingly distinct object of study: the “Earth system,” or the biosphere insofar as it alters the same abiotic planetary environment to which life adapts. While similar planetary ecological concepts have been historically active for over a century, in recent years Earth system science has become conceptually and rhetorically distinct, and the concept of the Earth system now often replaces that of the planetary climate. My talk will survey some recent developments in the field and show how they reverse values that have traditionally been sticking points for STS: for example, reductionism gives way to holism, and a secular Gaia without teleology is on the menu even in mainstream journals like Science and Nature. Meanwhile, for humanists like Dipesh Chakrabarty and Clive Hamilton, the Earth system has become the foundation for a new kind of planetary politics irreducible to colonial and racial capitalism. Through what lens should STS scholars and theorists view its discursive textures? How does the concept of the Earth system compare to the earlier and more familiar ecosystem? How should we interpret paradigmatic statements such as “the functioning of the Earth system”? What are the politics of the Earth system today?

20 January
Dominic Oldman (ResearchSpace, British Museum)
“Building Stronger and Connected Knowledge through Data Driven Cognitive Maps”

Abstract: Digital scholarship in the humanities relies heavily on, and is constrained by, the digital architecture of software tools originally designed from a business perspective. The problems humanities scholars face making effective use of these tools lies not with their inability to learn programming skills but with a disconnect between their ‘real world’ contexts of inquiry and the types of structured information environment that computer specialists promote as self-evident, predicated on ontologies that are presumed to be neutral. ResearchSpace is a dynamic knowledge representation system designed by and with humanities and cultural heritage experts with the flexibility to integrate qualitative and quantitative abstractions, and to bring together overlapping data narratives that reflect the diverse vantage points of specific groups and individuals.

3 February
Luke Bergmann (Geography, UBC)
“Geographical Data Science: Making Spaces for Interpretation”

Abstract: In a world awash, however unevenly, in large spatial datasets being analyzed and theorized at vast scales, what recognition is possible for the situated or interpretative natures of knowledge? How bound up in peoples and places should we expect our understandings of phenomena to be? What roles can the methods of humanists play in the knowledge practices of (geographical) data sciences? Here I examine various efforts to not only resituate associated knowledge claims more modestly, but to rework the associated geographical methods and technologies to facilitate such knowledge projects. In particular, I look at emerging data practices, statistical practices, and cartographic practices that, however differently, grapple with peoples and places as constitutive to computational knowing.

24 February
Sabina Leonelli (Philosophy, Exeter University)
“Data Science in Times of Pan(dem)ic”

Abstract: Given the reward system focus on the quantity and short-term impact of scientific results, researchers particularly in fields such as biology, biomedicine, epidemiology & data science are primed to look for low-hanging fruits specific to their existing skills and expertise, without necessarily:

(1)devoting attention towards developing datasets and models for longer-term re-use by multiple stakeholders.

(2)considering diverse types of data sources and how they may relate to each other

(3)reflecting on the broader impact of results

(4)ensuring engagement by relevant stakeholders

In this talk, I argue that these trends may have continued and even magnified during the pandemic, with serious consequences for the reliability and usefulness of the research. I discuss some examples from applications of data science to the analysis of contagion rates and sources, and ways in which data use can be re-imagined to offset the shortcomings and instrumentalization confronted by some such projects. I then argue that one way to mitigate this risk is for researchers to  recognise that biomedical and epidemiological expertise needs  to be complemented by other research perspectives (including from social science and humanities), comparisons with other locations/studies, as well as  non-scientific – yet relevant – expertise such as derived from community engagement. I conclude that emergency science can be fast, but should never be rushed; and the need to allow for interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder consultations – supported by long-term investment in related venues and infrastructures – is heightened when results carry significant public health implications

2 March
Margaret Price (English, Ohio State) *co-sponsored by Women’s Health Research Cluster
“A Fireside Chat with Margaret Price”

Recording available on Youtube

17 March
Sreela Sarkar (Communication, Santa Clara)
“Skills Will Not Set You Free”

Abstract: As India is celebrated as one of the largest emerging economies, ICT training and skills acquisition is celebrated in popular discourse for “flattening” economic and social hierarchies.

Based on sustained ethnographic research in New Delhi, I follow the everyday lives of the “computer girls” of Seelampur at a globally acclaimed ICT training center and beyond its doorsteps. I demonstrate that contrary to the promise of inclusion, gender, class, and caste hierarchies are reproduced through computing work. However, my talk also focuses on clandestine moments of play and refusal among the trainees that are aligned with workers in India and abroad. These instances highlight powerful critiques of the leveling promise of the training program among participants who implicitly protest against the image of the self-regulated, global worker and against proprietary notions of ownership of knowledge. The disruptive moments reveal that even under harsh labor conditions that impose limits on the possibility of collective action, marginalized women in Seelampur push back against the fractured promise of being set “free” by mocking, renegotiating, and communitarian appropriation of technology.

1 April (4:00-5:30pm)
Amanda Jo Goldstein (English, UC Berkeley)
“Jacobin Pastoral and the Inhuman Trade”

Abstract: What conceptions of nature support utopian exercises in “social dreaming”? Motivated in part by the surprising aptitude of earlier modern fiction and science to grasp the logic of sociogenic climate change – a form of causation that caught mainstream modern science by surprise – Goldstein’s current project explores aspects of social thought dismissed as “Utopian” or “Romantic” for espousing the heterodox premise that nature answers to justice, rather than necessity. “Jacobin Pastoral and the Inhuman Trade,” takes up the recurrent fact or fantasy of ecological retribution and its utopian counterpart, ecological jubilee. The purportedly abolitionist propensities of the earth in Erasmus Darwin’s materialist epic of the 1790s enable a reckoning with the silence on the matter of race that has too frequently marked newer materialist and Anthropocene theory. Attempting to unleash political freedoms in, rather than over, the earth, Darwin’s poetic science confusedly challenges, at a stroke, the progress of empire, the rule of “natural law,” and expectations about the genres of terrestrial capable of moral and political action.

19 April (9:00-10:30am) (cosponsored with Centre for Applied Ethics)
Eva Lövbrand (Thematic Studies, Linköping University)
“The politics of listening: Leaving no one behind in the fossil free transition”

Abstract: Sweden aspires to become the first fossil free welfare state. Through the adoption of a new climate policy framework in 2017, the Swedish government has begun an ambitious decarbonization of all sectors of society with the goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emission by year 2045. This progressive climate policy agenda is embedded in a strong collaborative discourse. To enable the transition to a fossil free society, the Swedish government has invited a wide array of actors (e.g. industry, cities, regions, NGOs) to join forces in the formulation and implementation of low carbon initiatives and roadmaps. While this collaborative and catalytic form of climate governance holds the promise of green jobs and industrial competitiveness, it remains silent on the disruptions and frictions that underwrite the politics of deep decarbonization. By insisting that the fossil free transition will benefit all sectors and regions equally, the Swedish government seeks to counter any discontent and disagreement on the road to the low carbon and climate resilient society.  In this talk I will explore listening as a political practice of central importance to a just transition. Informed by the work of Andrew Dobson and Susan Bickford, I approach listening as a fundamental and yet undervalued dimension of political and democratic life that can provide a space where previously unheard voices are recognized and political contestation is brought to the fore. While we normally think of empowerment as a function of the right and capacity to speak, less attention has been directed to the right to be heard. Drawing upon fieldwork from the Swedish city of Lysekil – home to Scandinavia’s largest oil refinery – I will here examine what we may hear when listening out for those whose every-day lives are affected by Swedish decarbonization policies. When those in power stop to speak in terms that they know best and begin to listen, I argue, they can shift the balance of power and make room for democratic dialogue across difference and disagreement. Only then is it possible to achieve a just fossil free transition that leaves no one behind.

27 April (cosponsored with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs)
Kate Brown (MIT)
“The Great Chernobyl Mystery: How Ignorance became Policy and Politics”

U.N. websites say that 33 people died from the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe and 6,000 children got cancer. Is that the extent of the damage? Working through newly disclosed Soviet health archives, historian Kate Brown discovered that Soviet doctors reported a public health disaster in the Chernobyl-contaminated territories in the late 1980s. The archives shows a death toll of not 35, but 35,000 and tens of thousands hospitalized after the disaster. What happened to this story? Brown explores international archives to show how evidence of widespread health problems from Chernobyl exposures disappeared from the scientific consensus.

September 12

Georgina Stewart, Auckland University of Technology
“Writing as a Method of Indigenous Research”

September 23

Rohan D’Souza, Kyoto University
“The Great Hydraulic Transition: Colonial Engineering and the Making of Modern Rivers in South Asia”

October 3

Nathan Hensley, Georgetown University
“Drone War in the Marketplace of Culture”
*Pre-circulated paper, for further information please contact Robert Brain: rbrain@mail.ubc.ca

October 24

Lindsey Freeman, Simon Fraser University
“From Inside the Atomic Sensorium”

January 16

Margaret Schabas, University of British Columbia
"Before Economics Became the Dismal Science: Hume on the Rise of Capitalism"
(co-sponsored by the Early Modern Research Cluster)

January 30

Adam Frank, University of British Columbia
Title TBA

February 27

Margaret Ronda, University of California, Davis
"Organic Form, Plastic Forms: The Nature of Plastic in Contemporary Ecopoetics."

September 20
JD Fleming

Simon Fraser University
“’The more Navigation increaseth’: Sir Francis Bacon’s idea of discovery and the origins of scientific naturalism”
Co-Sponsored by Early Modern Studies Cluster

September 27
Nancy Tuana

Pennsylvania State University
“Bringing Values to Science: Climate Change Decision Support Science”
Sponsored by the Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics & STS
*Prof. Tuana will also participate in a grad student coffee meet-and-greet, and will speak in the Philosophy Colloquium the following day.

October 25
Michael Wintroub

University of California, Berkeley
“A Balance of Trust: Hostages, Stars, Bonnets and Beads on a sixteenth century voyage of discovery”
Co-Sponsored by the History Department and Early Modern Studies

November 6* (Tuesday)
Mi Gyung Kim

North Carolina State University
“A People-Machine: Visualizing the Nation in Revolutionary France”
Co-Sponsored by the History Department, and Early Modern Studies Cluster

November 22
T’ai Smith

University of British Columbia
“Notes Toward a History and Theory of the Trend”

December 4* (Tuesday)
Andrea Tone

McGill University
“Dangerous Drugs: Doctors, Pain and the Politics of Blame”

January 3
Jaipreet Virdi

University of Delaware
“Therapeutic Gadgetry: Curing Deafness with Electricity”
Co-Sponsored by the History Department

January 14
Alice Christensen

University of British Columbia
“Indoor Heating and Experiments in Narration around 1900”

January 31
Kyle Powys-Whyte

Michigan State University
“Indigenous Climate Change Studies: Decolonizing Justice, Science and the Anthropocene”
Co-Sponsored by the Indigenous/Science Collective and Prof. Alison Wylie
*Prof. Powys-Whyte will lead a special seminar with the Indigenous/Science Collective the following day.

February 7
Steven Straker Memorial Lecture
Sergio Sismondo

Queen’s University
“Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands”
Location: Buchanan A104

February 28
Renisa Mawani

University of British Columbia
“Across Oceans of Law”

March 7
Heidi Grasswick

Middlebury College
“In Science we Trust – Or Not! Analyzing Lay-expert Trust Relations through an Epistemic Lens”

March 14
Andrea Westermann

German Historical Institute
“Earth matters. How European geology around 1900 grappled with making the human and terrestrial scales commensurate”

March 21
Fabiano Bracht

University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
“On the rhythm of the monsoons: Medicine, pharmacy, natural history and knowledge production in 18th Century Portuguese India”
Co-sponsored by the Early Modern Studies Cluster and UBC History

March 28
Mary Terrall

University of California, Los Angeles
“Indigo Trials and Tribulations: Michel Adanson’s Encounter with Africa”
Co-Sponsored by the History Department, Early Modern Studies Group, and the Department of French, Italian, and Spanish

April 11
STS Graduate Student Colloquium
April 16
Mathias Møllebæk

University of Copenhagen
“Tracing medical risk rhetoric from regulatory database to clinical judgment– an interview and protocol study”

September 14 (Reading Seminar)
Helen Tilley

Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950, Intro, Ch.2, ch.6., conclusion
[This book is available online through the UBC library website.]

October 12
Alison Wylie

University of British Columbia
“Knowledge that’s fit for purpose: a research prospectus.”

October 26
Jesse Oak Taylor

University of Washington
“Conrad’s Earth System Poetics”
co-sponsored by Department of English and the Oecologies group

November 7
Steven Meyer

Washington University
"Expansions of Empiricism in Literature, Science, and Philosophy: From the Cambridge Companion to Jamesian Modernism"
co-sponsored by the Belkin Art Gallery

November 23
Catherine Malabou

Kingston University and UC Irvine
“Empty Square vs. Evolutionary Memory: The New Adventure of Signs”
co-sponsored with the Belkin Art Gallery and the Department of Art History

November 30
Geoffrey Winthrop-Young

University of British Columbia
"'We stand in this storm of adaptation': Karl Escherich and the (De)Nazification of Universities and Social Insects."

Tuesday Nov 29

Discussion: Jessica Wang, "The Telling of the Case: Rabies Case Narratives and Medical Community in 19th-Century New York City"
Commentator: Katie Powell, Sara Press

Tuesday Nov 22

Discussion: Stefano Pantaleone leads readings from Eduardo Kohn’s work

Tuesday Nov 15

Discussion: Brent Lin, “Getting Rich With Deleuze and Guattari: Cautionary Tales From A Business Student”

Tuesday Nov 08

Discussion: Brandon Konoval, "Pythagorean Pipe Dreams? Vincenzo Galilei, Marin Mersenne, and the Pneumatic Mysteries of the Pipe Organ"
Commentator: Michael Hare

Tuesday Nov 01

Reading and Discussion: Carla Nappi, “Fictioning the History of Science”  Event Flyer

Tuesday Oct 25

Discussion: Jennifer Chandler, title "Coerced metamorphosis: Biological interventions as criminal rehabilitation"
Commentators: Kejia Wang, Stefano Pantaleone

*Tuesday Oct 18

Talk: In lieu of the regular colloquium, we will instead attend Bernard Stiegler’s lecture: “About the Neganthropocene and its economy” 6:30pm / Western Front - 303 8th Ave. E-Tix available at neganthropocene.eventbrite.com / Further info: http://front.bc.ca/events/about-the-neganthropocene-and-its-economy/

Tuesday Oct 11

Discussion: Readings from Bernard Stiegler

Tuesday Oct 04

Discussion: Readings from Bernhard Siegert
Commentator: Gen Cruz

Tuesday Sept 27

Talk: Aaron Moore, “From Imperial Engineers to Development Consultants: Japanese Engineers and the Post-Colonial, Cold War System of Development in South Korea”

Tuesday Sept 20

Discussion: Stephen Petrina, “On the History of the Critique of Media and Technology
Commentator: Carla Nappi

Tuesday Sept 13

Introduction, welcome, and orientation for graduate students

April 7
STS Graduate Student Colloquium

March 24    
The Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture
Charis Thompson, Professor, Gender & Women's Studies and Director, Chau Hoi Shuen Program in Gender & Science, University of California, Berkeley. Title TBA.

March 10
Phillip Thurtle, Associate Professor, Department of History and Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington, Seattle. "Losing My Wings: An Interactive Fable of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology."

February 25
Jonathan Elmer, Professor, Department of English; Director, College Arts and Humanities Institute, Indiana University. "Poe's Ear."

February 11
Heidi Tworek, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Graduate Program in STS, UBC. "Communicating Quarantine: How Wireless Technology Helped to Create World Health."

January 28
Miriam Solomon, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Temple University. "The Historical Epistemology of Evidence-Based Medicine."

January 14
Carla Nappi, Associate Professor, Department of History, UBC and Adam Frank, Associate Professor, Department of English, UBC. "Michel Serres and STS: A Seminar Discussion."

December 3
Helen Thompson. Associate Professor of English, Northwestern University. "Locke and Matter's Power."

November 19
no presentation

November 5
STS Graduate Students R. Baldwinson, S. Deutsh, J. Howell, A. Lou & S. Moreno-Garcia."Critical Digital Exhibits."

October 22
Raz Chen-Morris, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  "The Telescope and the Melancholic Prince: Knowledge and Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe."

October 8
Trevor Barnes, Professor, Department of Geography and Graduate Program in STS, UBC. "A Morality Tale of Two Location Theorists in Hitler's Germany."

September 24
Alexei KojevnikovDepartment of History and Graduate Program in STS, University of British Columbia
"Space-Time, Death-Resurrection, and the Russian Revolution."
Coach House, Green College
Time: 5:00-6:30pm

September 10
Meeting for STS Faculty and Reception for new graduate students

STS Colloquium Talk
April 2, 2015
STS Graduate Student Colloquium
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture
March 30, 2015
Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
"Which Self? The Rationalities of Self-Interest from the Enlightenment to the Cold War"
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Room 182

STS Colloquium Talk
March 19, 2015
Robert Brain, Department of History, UBC
"The Pulse of Modernism: Physiological Aesthetics in Fin-de-Siecle Europe"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

Science & Society Series Talk
March 9, 2015
Hannah Landecker, Department of Sociology, UCLA
"Fractured Ontologies: Before and After Metabolism and Genetics"
Coach House, Green College

STS Colloquium Talk
February 26, 2015
Thomas Kemple, Department of Sociology, UBC
"The Casuistic Disciplines of Capitalist Science: Weber’s Bifocals"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

Science & Society Series Talk
February 5, 2015
John Tresch, Department of History and Sociology of Science University of Pennsylvania
"Major and Minor Cosmograms, or How to Do Things with Worlds."
Coach House, Green College

STS Colloquium Talk
January 29, 2015
Alan Richardson, Department of Philosophy, UBC
"‘Neither an accusation nor a confession’: Michael Polanyi, Hans Reichenbach, and political history of philosophy of science"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

STS Colloquium Talk
January 14, 2015
Steven Meyer, Department of English, Washington University
"Literature and Science in an Age of Whitehead"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

STS Colloquium Talk
January 13, 2015
Seminar discussion with Isabelle Stengers, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Precirculated Papers: "A Constructivist Reading of Process and Reality" and "A Cosmopolitical Proposal"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

STS Colloquium Talk
January 12, 2015
Richard Menke, Department of English, University of Georgia
"Media Archaeology and Nineteenth-Century Literature"
I.K. Barber Learning Centre Room 182

STS Colloquium Talk
January 8, 2015
Carla Nappi, Department of History, UBC
"Thinking with Thinking with Whitehead: A Book Discussion"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

STS Colloquium Talk
November 27, 2014
Ian Hesketh, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the History of European Discourse, University of Queensland
"The Story of Big History"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

Science & Society Series Talk
November 13, 2014
Lochlann Jain, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
"Commodity Violence"
Coach House, Green College

STS Colloquium Talk
October 30, 2014
Judy Segal, Department of English, UBC
"FDA, FSD, DSM, and STS"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

STS Colloquium Talk
October 16, 2014
Jessica Wang, Department of History, UBC
"Colonial Crossings: Social Science, Social Knowledge, and American Power, 1890-1970"
Buchanan Tower, Room 1197

Science & Society Series Talk
October 2, 2014
Elizabeth A. Wilson, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emory University
"Bitter Melancholy: Feminism, Aggression, and the Biology of Depression"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
September 18, 2014
John Krige, School of History, Technology, & Society, Georgia Tech
"Embedding the National in the Global: U.S.-French Relationships in Space Science and Technology in the Early 1960s"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
April 3, 2014
Yi-Li Wu, University of Westminster
"Technologies of Trauma: Assessing Wounds and Joining Bones in Late Imperial China"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
March 27, 2014
Matthew Nisbet, Communication Studies, Northeastern University
"Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
March 13, 2014
Piers Hale, Department of the History of Science, University of Oklahoma
"Malthus or Mutualism? A Reassessment of the Politics of Evolution in Victorian England"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
February 27, 2014
Evelynn Hammonds, Department of History of Science, Harvard University
"The Concept of ‘Race’ and/in the History of Science and Medicine"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
February 13, 2014
Jill Fellows, Arts One, UBC
"Parrhesia, Pluralism and Polar Bears"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
February 6, 2014
Susan Mattern, Department of History, University of Georgia
"Galen’s Anxious Patients: Lupe as Anxiety Disorder"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

"Lives of Evidence" Series Talk
Sponsored by SSHRC Situating Science Cluster
February 3, 2014
Cindy Patton, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
"The Press and the Press Release: Inventing the Crystal Meth-HIV Connection"
Buchanan A Block, University of British Columbia

Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor Talk
Panel Discussion with Professors Duffin, Squier, Segal, & Nappi
January 30, 2014
Jacalyn Duffin, Hannah Chair, History of Medicine, Queen's University; Susan Squier, Science, Technology, and Society Program, Penn State University; Judy Segal, Department of English, UBC; Carla Nappi, Department of History, UBC
"Critical Conditions: Lessons for Health Studies at UBC and Beyond"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor Talk
January 28, 2014
Jacalyn Duffin, Hannah Chair, History of Medicine, Queen's University; Susan Squier, Science, Technology, and Society Program, Penn State University
"Integrating Critical Health Studies: New Sources and New Perspectives from Medicine, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
January 16, 2014
Eric Johnson, Department of History, UBC
"A Historical Epistemology of Empathy"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
January 9, 2014
Alan Richardson, Department of Philosophy, UBC
"Signal Achievements: Hans Reichenbach on Radio and on Radio"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
Presented by the UBC Department of Philosophy
November 29, 2013
Jean Gayon, Institute of History and Philosophy of Sciences, University of Paris
"Population Genetics, Economic Theory, and Eugenics in the work of R. A. Fisher"
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia

Peter Wall Institute French Scholar Series Talk
November 27, 2013
Jean Gayon, Institute of History and Philosophy of Sciences, University of Paris
"Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Enhancement"
Buchanan Block A, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
November 14, 2013
Carla Nappi, Department of History, UBC
"Sample and Mix: The Body Sonic in Qing Science and Medicine"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
November 7, 2013
Richard Gold, Faculty of Law, McGill University
"Myriad Genetics and Beyond: The Fallout of the US Supreme Court Decision"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture
October 21, 2013
Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Program in Literature, Duke University
"Dis/Integration: On the New Interdisciplinarity"
Buchanan Block A, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
October 17, 2013
Sylvia Berryman, Department of Philosophy, UBC
"A Tale of Two (Social) Scientists: Milgram and Zimbardo"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
October 3, 2013
Jessica Wang, Department of History, UBC
"The Telling of the Case: Rabies Narratives, Autopsy, and Medical Community in Nineteenth-Century New York City"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

Wall Exchange Series Talk
Presented by Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
September 25, 2013
Bruno Latour, Sciences Po Paris, and Philippe Descola, Collège de France
"Approaches to the Anthropocene: A Conversation with Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour"
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Wall Exchange Series Talk
Presented by Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
September 23, 2013
Bruno Latour, Sciences Po Paris
"War and Peace in an Age of Ecological Conflict"
Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC

Science & Society Series Talk
September 12, 2013
Andrea Woody, Department of Philosophy, University of Washington
"Chemistry’s Periodic Law: Rethinking Explanation and Representation through the Turn to Practice"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
Presented by Science and Society Series at Green College
April 4, 2013
Evelyn Fox Keller, History and Philosophy of Science, MIT
"What Kind of Divide Separates Biology from Culture?"
Liu Institute, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
Presented in partnership with Green College
March 21, 2013
Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University and Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor at UBC
"The Marriage of Divination and Philology: An Inquiry into the Terminology and Practice of Scholarship in the Early Modern Period"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
March 14, 2013
Michael Ruse, Department of Philosophy, Florida State University
"Debating Darwin: Mechanist or Romantic?"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
March 7, 2013
Lisa Cartwright, Department of Communication and Science Studies, UC-San Diego
"Infrastructures of Power: New Topographies of Wind in Kansas"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
February 28, 2013
Deanna Kreisel, Department of English, UBC
"'The Insides of Things': Higher-Dimensional Geometries and Victorian Theories of Space"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
February 7, 2013
Jennifer Alexander, History of Science & Technology, University of Minnesota
"The Radical Religiosity of Ellul’s Technological Critique"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
January 31, 2013
Angus Livingstone, University-Industry Liaison Office, UBC
"Academy-Industry Relations: A Tale of Great Fears and Great Expectations"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
January 17, 2013
Leah Ceccarelli, Department of Communication, University of Washington
"At the Frontiers of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
January 3, 2013
Tod Chambers, Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program, Northwestern University
"In Praise of Navel Gazing, or An Argument For and Against Bioethics Studies"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
November 29, 2012
Monica Brown, Department of English, UBC
"What Does Hand Washing Mean in the Twenty-First Century?"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
November 22, 2012
Alejandra Bronfman, Department of History, UBC
"In Search of the Radiolette, In the Grip of Invisible Rays"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
November 8, 2012
Patrick Slaney, Department of Philosophy, UBC
"Scientific Freedom and the Limits of the Administrative State: Don K Price and the Bureau of the Budget on Science and Government"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Richard and Dorothy Sikora Lecture, Department of Philosophy
November 2, 2012
Ian Hacking, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto
"On Logic"
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia

Science & Society Series Talk
November 1, 2012
George Reisch, Northwestern University
"The Paranoid Style in American History of Science: On the Cold War Origins of Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions"
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
October 25, 2012
Candis Callison, School of Journalism, UBC
"Co-Producing Care: Navigating Climate and Media Change"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
October 18, 2012
Alirio Rosales, Department of Philosophy & Biodiversity Research Centre, UBC
"Scientific Theories as Narratives"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
October 11, 2012
Adam Frank, Department of English, UBC
"Vis-à-vis Television: Andy Warhol’s Therapeutics, Part Two"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture
September 24, 2014
Stephen Shapin, Department of the History of Science, Harvard
"The Tastes of Wine: Towards a Cultural History of Sense and Value"
Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory 120, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
September 20, 2012
Neil Gross, Department of Sociology, UBC
"Why are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS Colloquium Talk
September 13, 2012
Andrea Tone, Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, McGill
"Spies & Lies: Ewen Cameron, the CIA, and Cold War Psychiatry"
Buchanan Tower 1197, University of British Columbia

STS at UBC: A Sampler of Topics and Perspectives
September 6, 2012
Green College Coach House, University of British Columbia
Judy Segal, Department of English, UBC, "What Can Rhetorical Scholarship Contribute to the Critical Study of Medicine?"
Alexei Kojevnikov, Department of History, UBC, "The Big Bang Theory: The Cultural Meanings of Modern Physics"
Margaret Schabas, Department of Philosophy, UBC, "What Kind of Science is Economics? The Case of Victorian Bioeconomics"

AAAS Annual Meeting
February 16-20, 2012
Vancouver, BC

STS Colloquium Talk
February 1, 2012
Keith Wailoo, Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University
"How Cancer Crossed the Color Line: Reflections on History, Race, and Health"
Leon and Thea Koerner University Centre, University of British Columbia


Knowledge Brokers and Knowledge Formats:
A Symposium Inspired by the Work of Richard Ericson

September 23-24, 2011
Green College, University of British Columbia


Objectivity in Science Conference
June 17-20, 2010
University of British Columbia


Varieties of Empathy in Science, Art, and Culture
October 10-11, 2009
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia


Health Humanities Conference
October 13-15, 2006
Green College, University of British Columbia